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Coolant Leak


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November 12, 2006
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Year, Model & Trim Level
1999 XLT
After pressure testing my 91 XLT I noticed a small leak coming from the front of the engine, below the water pump from what looks like the timing chain cover. Is this possible? Does coolant circulate through there or am I looking at this wrong?

I see many threads about the lower intake gasket, where exactly is that? Are there any pics posted?

Thanks in advance....

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There is a weep hole at the bottom of the water pump that leaks water as the pump goes bad. It sounds like the water pump's your problem. Get a Haynes or Chilton, the pump's fairly easy to replace. You can look at one at the autostore to verify your diagnosis.
The picture shows the lower manifold and its gasket. Do some searches, ask some questions.


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Its not leaking out of the water pump seal weep hole. Its leaking from below the entire water pump housing. Its hard to explain but it almost looks like its the timing chain cover, is this possible?

Looking at the the pictures its not the lower intake gasket either..

Just curious.. Where did you get the image you included? Is their a website that has all these images online?

Thanks in advance

There are water passages from the pump through the cover and they have leaked:

With luck water is from elsewhere and running down. Doing the pressure test and poking around with a mirror may help. Removal of timing cover requires removal of oil pan. Removal of oil pan requires removal of engine. I've never done it so there may be some shortcuts. I've heard that the oil pan can be removed by jacking the engine.

Illustration is from Haynes.

Good luck, keep in touch; there is an amazing depth of knowledge available.

Before you replace the water pump, look carefully for pinhole leaks near the ends of the heater hoses where they attach to the engine. Heat from the engine can make them brittle and split. One heater hose connects on top to the left (passenger side) of the water pump and the other one can be seen if you crawl underneath and look up. CAUTION: Please wear safety glasses.

This past summer I suddenly had coolant pouring out of my Explorer and I thought the water pump was blown for sure, but on close inspection it was a tiny hole in the heater hose. Because the coolant was under pressure, it was really spraying out fast.

If the hose is cracked near the end, you can probably cut it back to good rubber and reconnect it. Because of the age of my Explorer (92), I bought new 3/4 inch heavy duty hose and clamps from NAPA. Its a messy job to do, but the only real problem is in reaching the clamps with a tool.

Bwana Bob

It is literally a small ocassional drip coming from the timing chain cover. Considering you have to pull the motor or at least jack it up to remove the oil pan, I am seriously considering trying a can of sealer. What do you think? What have I got to lose? I used "Barz" on another vehicle with success. Kind of a last resort.....

I would not use any cooling system sealers such as Bars Leak. It may temporarily fix your leak, but you may have other cooling system problem down the road. Of course if you just want to dump it in and sell the truck.... that's a different story... just my 2 cents...

I would swear that my leak was there too.

But as SHAAMAL's picture shows, the Manifold gasket is very suseptible top leaking. ( right in front of the Temp sensor). What happens is it is such a small leak that it runs down and follows the Water Pump hosing all the way around until you see Coolant under the housing. It's very hard to see the Leak because the Tensioner and Thermostat plumbing is in teh way.

Reach up the Waterpump from the bottom of the car with a paper towel and see if it is wet up higher then where you are saying.

I had a leak at the timing chain cover on my 94. The place I took it to drained the system and used vacuum to suck some weld bond into the small area it was leaking. They've done this before and had good success with it. It worked great for me and is still holding up a year later. A whole lot less $$$$ than changing the gasket.